Sector Report: The IoT - Examines IoT Layer-By-Layer to Unveil the Larger Picture

We recently collaborated with Drake Star Partner, a global M&A and corporate advisory firm, to produce the comprehensive white paper, Sector Report: The Internet of Things (IoT).  The report, by deconstructing and analyzing each layer (e.g. hardware, software, and networks & integration), demystifies IoT's nature and current state. 

Sector Report: The Internet of Things (IoT) also focuses on recent IoT markets & acquisitions and financing activity, contextualizing the deals and their impact to the market and  provides usecases to shed light, not only on the different ways IoT is showing up across various industries (e.g., Commercial & Industrial, Agriculture & Farming, Utilities & Energy, etc.), but also on how these manifestations contribute to the larger IoT-picture.  

Click HERE to read the report. 

For more information, please contact us at info@jbrehm.com.

Phone’ll Jingle, Door’ll Knock: US Rep & EPIcenter Keynote, Will Hurd, Weighs In on Imminent IoT Security Risks & Best Practices

By: Consuelo Azuaje

Punctuated by sips of coffee and firm handshakes, conversation stirred amongst attendees at San Antonio, TX’s very first IoT Summit which was held at the city’s historic Pearl complex. The event was organized by EPIcenter, a recently-founded non-profit that aspires to become a smart energy hub and innovation center. EPIcenter’s CEO, Kimberly Britton, and board intend for the center to positively impact local residents and the global community by contributing to the development of cleaner, smarter energy. The crowd found their seats and settled in as Britton took the stage and explained how IoT had contributed to EPIcenter’s creation and had shaped its mission. She was preaching to the choir, and the choir hummed back with energy.

Then keynote speaker and US representative for Texas’s 23rd congressional district, Will Hurd, took the stage. “What is IoT and why should it matter?” he asked. It’s a question that keynote speaker Congressman Will Hurd addressed before delving into his core concerns. Hurd cited a recent IEEE study that predicted the global number of connected devices would rise to 17B by 2020. The air is buzzing with noise of connected devices, and a Metcalfe’s Law-informed perspective would look at that kind of surge and equate it with greater utility. Hurd countered, however, that connected devices represent more than the utility they offer; they are also opportunities for exploitation. Vulnerabilities. Like gaps in telco-network security, they make both providers and clients vulnerable to cyber-attack.

How do cyber attacks happen to good networks? Cybersecurity is a messy challenge. An arms race that precludes magic bullets and will force cybersecurity professionals to constantly up their game. Still, even the best cyber security systems and practices can fall prey to attack. The goal isn’t to reach perfection—an impossibility—but to pragmatically and constantly approach it. Doing so minimizes attack efficacy and better safeguards providers and clients alike from attacks which could affect them both physically as well as materially.

The first step to developing a strong defense is to understand the nature of the attack. Cyber attacks are one step in a negative feedback loop. No cybersecurity system is foolproof but cyber attack success rate can be stemmed by good practices. When bad practices lead to disaster, government officials panic and step in to do the only thing they know how to do—legislate. Over-legislation stunts innovation and growth. It’s not uncommon for technology, often ripe on the vine, to become obsolete before it can reach the market due to over-legislation. Which leads to suboptimal cybersecurity systems stunted from their true potential which leads to greater vulnerability which leads to more legislation. Tech, stunted of its true potential, leads to sub-optimal systems that are more susceptible attack and likely to supply lawmakers with reasons for creating even more legislation.

So what’s to be done? How can we break the cycle? By establishing good cybersecurity practices.

In their rush to forge ahead, the previous generation that created the Internet neglected to invest as much in security and we’re feeling the backlash today. For one, companies need to stop backing default passwords into their devices. Second, encrypt everything. Even the simplest devices should be encrypted. Third, plan for regular software updates.

By providing an open work space to tech innovators and energy experts, EPIcenter will facilitate collaborative problem-solving, cultivate the creation of new technology, and ease the necessary paradigm-shift towards greater IoT acceptance. EPIcenter will offer innovators a space to experiment with and test new technology—a crucial component in the process of invention, not only for weeding out ideas but for forming new ones.

Witness NimbeLink’s Journey at This Year’s Sensors Expo & Conference in Silicon Valley

Rich with 30+ years of experience in and insight into the sensors industry, the Sensors Expo & Conference this year will be held at the McEnery Center in San Jose, CA this year and will feature over 100 industry experts with speakers and keynote sessions from companies such as NimbeLink, NASA, Exosite, and Augmented Reality, among others.

NimbeLink first broke into the IoT space as a components company with their family of end-device certified Skywire-embedded modems but has been repositioning itself as an IoT-solutions provider with QTELLUS, its latest full stack, asset tracking solution.

While at the Expo, NimbeLink’s CEO Scott Schwalbe, CTO Kurt Larson, and CIO John Young will discuss the various challenges that NimbeLink has been overcoming as they transition from a components company to an IoT-solutions provider as well as the challenges inherent in designing end-device certified, sensor-embedded devices and systems (e.g. managing device complexity requirements vs time-sensitive deadlines). They will also discuss the characteristics that make cellular connectivity the best fit for some (but not all) applications and the criteria that NimbeLink seeks out in potential partners as they scale up in IoT ecosystem.

To learn more about NimbeLink, visit them on the IoT Ecosystem Expo Floor (Booth #1242) or sit in on any number of the presentations that they will be involved in. A schedule of the Sensors Expo events can be accessed by clicking HERE.

Visit James Brehm & Associates at Sensors Conference & Expo in San Jose, CA!

James Brehm & Associates’ own James Brehm and David Houghton will be moderating several panels at this year’s Sensors Expo & Conference which will be held June 27-29 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA. Particularly relevant to IoT, the sensors industry enables IoT-technological progress and innovation by providing increasingly sophisticated, powerful, and economical sensor technology. The sensors industry has been a major driving force behind IoT development and proliferation.

Come see us at the Sensors Expo & Conference to discuss IoT solutions as well as challenges and problem-solving strategies on the IoT Ecosystem stage located on the Expo floor.

IoT Q1 Performance Analysis

IoT's outlook has been favorable this year, with most firms showing healthy growth in revenue and other key performance indicators.

This latest issue of A Deeper Connected Conversation contains an in-depth analysis of Q1 results and a review of market activity (e.g., new network deployments, partnerships &/or alliances, new product &/or service announcements). 

Click HERE to read this latest issue of A Deeper Connected Conversation.
For more information, please contact us at info@jbrehm.com.

Attend San Antonio's first IoT Summit, the EPIcenter's IoT: A Connected World

2020 is going to be an incredible year-- the number of IoT-connected devices by conservative estimates will have reached into the tens of billions. Always outpaced by its own hype, real change never happens as quickly as people advertise it's going to happen, but almost always happens faster than people prepare for it to happen. 

San Antonio's first IoT summit, IoT: A Connected World, will be hosted June 1 by the EPIcenter, and it will bring together IoT industry professionals, utility experts, and city officials for the purpose of sparking more robust discussion about planning for the tides of technological change.

EPI is an abbreviation for "Energy, Partnerships, and Innovation", which represent the core of the center's strategy to become a world-class meeting space for energy innovation and entrepreneurial incubation. Hoping to grow from the ground up, the center plans to engage local businesses and technology communities.

For more information about the speakers that will be featured and about how to register, click HERE

A Deeper Connected Conversation: With IoT - Engage the Silent, Work with the Delays, and Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

It's natural to approach the New with some hesitation, but IoT is worth the investment. All-too-often members of industries that need IoT & M2M solutions, resist and avoid participating in discussions about IoT & M2M because they regard it as foreign and irrelevant. This cultural resistance needs to be worked over and overcome. 

In this latest issue of our newsletter, A Deeper Connected Conversation, we examined the issue of cultural resistance to IoT and how it might be addressed. We also checked in on the progress being made in Europe with the European Commission's new Radio Equipment Directive (RED), and discussed IoT's promise in the BHPH market. 

To read our latest issue, click here.

For more information, please contact us at info@jbrehm.com.

Do Industrial Companies Speak IoT? Musings from the Road

By: Bill Brehm

Do we need to start talking business impact and use case and quit talking IoT?  That is the question I have been pondering for the last couple of weeks. 

I just got back from attending CON EXPO/ CONAGG (the largest trade show in the US for the construction industry) and ENTELEC (a tradeshow for the energy, telecommunications, and electrical industries). While there I was able to talk to companies like GE, Terex, CAT, Deere, Komatsu and others. At both of these two shows I noticed something very troubling for those in the IoT industry. IoT, the buzzword that has long outgrown buzzword-status and begun to mature and grow into a much more formidable role, was absent. Despite the fact that IoT is becoming an integral part of business and enables many of the solutions that enterprises are looking for, few people outside the industry talk about it. I noticed people talking connecting their solutions, big data, SCADA, telemetry, GPS, and other terms, but the key bringing them all together is IoT.  

So, I asked myself, is it time for the industry to start talking about the wins we have? 

Is it time to start showing our use cases, and solutions and quit trying to focus on the buzzword?

Isn’t it about time we talk about Measurable ROI, definitive impact, business transformation, new economics, disrupting the status quo…? 

It is all about how we get data to where it can be used that makes this revolution pertinent. The thing that will make enterprises move forward in this ever-expanding technical revolution is their ability to partner with the right people to generate a solution that helps them save money, make money, maintain compliance, or create total business transformation. If business leaders don’t know where or who to look for to get the solution, the revolution will stall, and all the wins of the past few years will have been for nothing.

That’s my two cents, what do you think?

The Dynamics Behind Telit’s New CMO Pick, SAP’s Former VP Shawn Reynolds

By: James Brehm

In a surprising turn of events, Telit has brought SAP’s Shawn Reynolds onboard to act as its new CMO. In his new position, Reynolds will direct Telit’s global marketing strategy, manage brand awareness, and develop global programs for driving success of its IoT-related products and services. Jack Indekeu, Telit’s now-former CMO, has formally stepped down from his position and will remain in a reduced capacity to make sure that the transition occurs smoothly. Afterwards, he will move to the beach and spend his days surfing and generally living the life of a beach bum.

Although Reynolds was a key figure in the development of SAP’s go-to-market strategy and—as a former global VP and IoT marketing head—has accumulated an extensive amount of experience in executive-level and marketing leadership positions, Reynolds remains a surprising choice because his newly-previous company, SAP, is still establishing its IoT strategy.

If IoT were a playground—young and full of possibility—then SAP would be one of the lil ’un’s. In a young place, SAP is younger still. In the recent years that IoT began to mature, SAP noticed and formed the following goals several years ago: (1) to become a major seller of the “shovels & picks” of the data-and-services economy that will be built around IoT, (2) to become a major provider of the back-end infrastructure as-a-service needed to make M2M/IoT possible.

Outside of the IoT, SAP is a well-established market leader in enterprise applications and analytics software and a leading Cloud enterprise company, to boot. It’s the world’s third largest software company, and spanning dozens of industries internationally, had revenues totaling $23.7B in 2016. That’s 64 times Telit’s 2016 revenues which totaled $370M.

Telit isn’t small potatoes, either. Especially in the M2M/IoT space. One of the fastest growing M2M companies in the industry, Telit is also one of the world’s largest M2M module suppliers and is a global leader in IoT-enablement, offering a broad portfolio of products and services for customers. Currently transitioning from being a hardware-provider to being a solutions-provider, Telit takes a horizontal approach to maximize its presence in the IoT market and provides a one-stop-shop for modules, connectivity, and platforms for customers.

SAP and Telit are well-matched and have been collaborating for years on driving IoT-centered transformations. In May 2016, Telit and SAP announced a partnership to license and resell Telit’s deviceWISEIoT platform. With Telit’s connectivity management expertise and SAP’s HANA platform (which was first released in 2010) combined, the two companies expect to successfully operate across a variety of different verticals.

SAP’s and Telit’s being well-matched may not guarantee that Reynolds was made for this position, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.  In fact, the SAP-Telit partnership and Telit’s choice of Reynolds speaks to the IoT space, itself, in that it is just one connection among many likely and unlikely connections that are being formed between devices, ideas, corporations, and people. We are watching the ecosystem form--today. And as it takes and gives shape, equally, this is exactly what it looks like.

Questioned on his opinion of Telit, Reynolds responded optimistically saying that, together with their customers, Telit would be a reckonable force that would profoundly affect way the entire world lives, works, and plays. 

We agree, but remain curious to see how Reynolds handles his new position as CMO--a position that plants him decidedly deeper into the IoT-jungle. What will he grow and what fruit will it bear? Welcome to the Real IoT, Shawn!

How Did Small Cap Firms - Alarm.com, USA Technologies, MiX Telematics, & Control4 - Do Last Year & What Does That Mean to Us Today?

This latest issue of A Deeper Connected Conversation contains small cap firm company profiles, reviews of each firm's activities and business performance in 2016, and interpretations as to what their future prospects will be and what future outlooks they can expect to have. (Small cap firms are defined here as having a market cap < $2B.) 

Click HERE to read the full issue.